Jenkins unlikely to rejoin Jets

Kris Jenkins.

The NFL lockout couldn’t come at a better time for run-stuffer Kris Jenkins and his ailing body.

The former Jets’ nose tackle is still recovering from his second serious knee injury in as many years. The 31-year-old is using the time and the pace of his own offseason workouts to make another comeback attempt, likely with a team that plays on natural grass.

“I’d be interested if [the Jets] had grass on the stadium field but right now, that’s the big thing and they don’t,” Jenkins told Metro yesterday. “I’ve played here long and loved it. I love this team, I love the fans and I’ve bonded with this team. I feel like I have a connection with this city.”

Jenkins was released by Gang Green after the season but confirmed he was offered a one-year deal to come back at a reduced salary. But it’s about more than money for the four-time Pro Bowler. The FieldTurf at New Meadowlands Stadium has hurt both home teams that play there, stripping seasons away from both Jenkins and Giants kick returner Domenik Hixon.

“[FieldTurf], it ain’t my friend. Just as far as my health is concerned, I need to think about that and how my body can and will respond,” Jenkins said. “New York would be a major possibility, we’ll have to see, but at this point in time, I want to take care of me, too.”

With labor negotiations at a standstill, the lockout means that offseason training activities in the team’s facility is verboten. So Jenkins makes a 30-minute drive several times a week to TEST Sports Clubs in Martinsville, N.J. to workout alongside current Jets Vladimir Ducasse, Bart Scott and Jamaal Westerman. Jenkins isn’t focusing on just strength training building but on agility, logging long hours increasing his flexibility and mobility says TEST owner Brian Martin.

“He’s very dedicated when he comes in here. He clearly has a mission that he’s working towards,” Martin said. “We’re just trying to get him there.”

The mission for Jenkins is to get back in the league. The Jets saved themselves a big hit on the salary cap by cutting him before he entered the fourth year of his $30.25 million contract. Given his two serious knee injuries over the past 18 months – Jenkins missed the entirety of the 2010 season after suffering a first quarter injury in a Week 1 loss to Baltimore – Jenkins has himself focused on getting back into playing shape.

And he said that for the first time in his career, he’s stress free. He has learned when to step and when to push forward and that his body is responding. In fact next week, he’s heading to the TEST facility in Florida to train with younger brother Cullen Jenkins of the Green Bay Packers.

He’s dropped 20 pounds since he began working out with Martin and his staff at TEST; although he’s not prepared to say how much he currently weighs, Jenkins acknowledges that his mobility is coming back and he ran with relative ease throughout his workout. He feels like he’s ready to play on grass soon “and in the next month or so, maybe on turf.”

Anything with a concrete base such as an artificial surface still bothers him. But for a player in a much hyped weight loss competition last year with Jets head coach Rex Ryan, it is now just about getting healthy.

“My biggest goal is to not stress. I’m a perfectionist and I’ve done things that way for my whole career. It’s one of the biggest things working for us, as a professional athlete, is our desire for perfection. It also works against us,” Jenkins said. “But I’ve also learned that at the point of my career that I’m at, that stress and overworking can hurt you too. I mean, I dropped 20 pounds by not paying attention to the weight, just by working hard here and not weighing myself every day. I just work at it – let it happen.”

But now, a new challenge awaits. Not only is he fighting to get back into playing shape, but he’s also playing for another contract. Before the knee problems, he played the last portion of the 2008 season with a bulging disc. The motivation for Jenkins stems from his home where he sees the need to provide for his family.

“My wife isn’t going to take a pay cut, she’s always telling me ‘We got school to pay for’ and things like that,” Jenkins said. “But most important to her is that I don’t get hurt again. She doesn’t want to see that – I don’t want to see that.”

And while Jets fans have grown to love Jenkins over the past three years with the team, they may not be loving him in green this fall. When he was cut by the team last month, Jenkins recalls an outpouring of support from his teammates. He also got some love from Jets management.

“After it all happened, I had a great conversation with Rex, Mike [Tannenbaum] and even Woody [Johnson] called me,” Jenkins said of the Jets head coach, general manager and owner. “I was surprised, because I didn’t know that Woody saw me as one of ‘those’ guys on the team. He talked with me honestly and said that he’d be in touch to see where things go down the road. It was a nice way to end things."



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

And then there were six. It was a big night on stage as the Top 6 got to dance with each other, All-star partners and perform a solo routine.

Television

'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…

Television

Billy Crystal to commemorate late actor Robin Williams…

  Comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to late actor Robin Williams at television's Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25, the show's organizers said on…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

GAMES Hudson Common Open Aug. 21, 7 p.m. Hudson Common 356 W. 58 St. Free, www.hudsoncommonnyc.com The U.S. Open begins on Monday, but most of…

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

NFL

Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…